Retirement and You

What do you want to be when you retire? Retirement means so many things to so many people. Classically it has meant leaving your position or occupation and ceasing to work. Historically the age of retirement has been 65. Importantly, it is often a time in your life when you stop generating income.

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The classic definition may or may not apply to you. You may want to leave your current occupation and launch a second career. You may want to spend time traveling and pursuing hobbies that you haven’t had enough time for. You may also love what you are doing and have no reason to stop.

Planning one’s retirement goes a long way toward a happy retirement. Think about how you like to spend your time. Do you want to spend your day with meaningful activities or relax and take it easy? Having a good understanding of your and your spouse’s retirement state of mind is very helpful. Discuss your vision and potential areas of concern. Identify the most important activities and experiences you want to have. Discuss how you will spend your days. Plan this very important period of your life. Remember, you may be planning for 20 – 30 years or more.

Part of planning your retirement includes your financial wellbeing. In fact, retirement is often referred to as financial freedom or financial independence. Analyze your financial wellbeing to help assess when you are able to retire and if you will retire on a fulltime or part time basis. Determine what steps you can take to make you financially ready to retire. Look at your savings, pension plans, and social security benefits. Consult with your financial advisor to help you with this planning.

There are various financial and legal steps you should take as part of the planning process. It is important particularly as you approach retirement to have diversified investments. This diversification can help you keep your financial retirement goals on target. Work with your attorney to make sure you have a good estate plan in place. Protect your assets by carefully planning for your health care needs. Make sure your medical and long-term care coverage is adequate. Consolidate your retirement savings accounts. This can help your financial retirement planning. Develop a tax strategy for your investments.

Retirement can be an exciting time. It is a big decision. Think it through and plan for it. Make it what you want and what works for you.